How to Draw an Old Root with Pen

In this tutorial I cover how to draw an old root with pen. Old exposed roots of a tree convey age, strength, adaptation and commands our respect. Though they look quite complicated to draw, once simple steps and techniques as shown below are understood, an old root can be drawn with pen in limitless ways. Follow along the steps below and see how fun it is to draw such old roots with pen.

Step 1: Draw Initial Outline

It is important to get the outline right as there needs to be order in how the old roots are feeding into the trunk for it to look plausible overall. A simplest way is to start by drawing two roots on either side that feed into the trunk as shown below.

pen and nk drawing 1

Step 2: Draw other Main Roots

With the above as the base, other roots can be added as shown below. Notice that in this approach, there is a plausibility and understanding of root structure leading to trunk. Make roots slightly tapered as shown below.

pen and ink drawing 2.gif

Step 3: Add Secondary Roots

With the outline established in step 2, other secondary roots can be drawn as show below to make it more visually interesting.

pen and ink drawing 3.gif

Depending on the size of the drawing, other smaller roots can be added as well. Distribute them well but don’t lay them out in a pattern. Give it an irregular feel. Use your instincts and have fun in this creative process.

pen and ink drawing 4.gif

Step 4: Texturing Roots

To texture roots, use tapered crevices and marks as shown below. Darken one side more to bring out the form or roundness of the roots. Here is a close up of a textured root. Note how the edges are irregularly darkened and one side uses dark tapered irregular shapes to texture roots.

close up 1.gif

Here is the outline textured using the technique described above. It is important to use irregular tapered shapes and to avoid any pattern. Click on the image below to see it in detail.

pen and ink drawing 6

Step 5: Adding Dark Background

To give perception of depth, darken the areas that are NOT roots. This provides the background against which the drawn roots stand out. Notice that I have used tapered shapes for the background. Don’t use rectangular shapes as they are not visually pleasant.

old root with pen

Step 6: Finish

To finish this drawing, I added grass and other ground cover and used parallel lines to provide a kind of backdrop to it. Other elements like trees, wooden posts etc. can be used as well to create very pleasing drawings. Drawing of an old root is quite visually pleasing by itself.

draw old root with pen

By using different shapes and layout for the roots, different pleasing such drawings can be easily done from imagination. Following is another example.

old root with pen

This completes this tutorial. With the steps explained above, a complicated looking drawing of an old root can be easily broken down into easy, simple steps that anybody can attempt and be successful at drawing. Give it a try. Click here to download template to practice the steps.

If you want to learn drawing pleasing pen and ink landscapes, then check out my FREE tutorials and pen and ink drawing workbooks. They are a great way to learn this wonderful art and adopt this creative hobby.

Pl. share this in your social media and with others of creative instinct to help then learn about it as well. Feel free to reach out to me for any help and guidance.

Happy Drawing,


Step by Step Pen and Ink Drawings

FREE Pen and Ink Drawing Tutorials


Interested in learning to draw pen and ink landscapes? Try my workbooks...You won't find an easier way to be successful at this wonderful activity. Check out their FREE Previews

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop